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Minnesota Legislature

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256.7383 Program requirements.

Subdivision 1. Notification of program. At the time of the face-to-face interview, the applicant or recipient being recertified must be given a written referral to the orientation and an appointment date for the EDP. Orientation must be completed within ten days of the face-to-face interview. The applicant or recipient must also be given the following information:

(1) notification that, as part of continued receipt of AFDC, the recipient is required to attend orientation, to be followed immediately by an assessment and intensive job search;

(2) the program provider and the date, time, and location of the scheduled program orientation;

(3) the procedures for qualifying for and receiving benefits under the program;

(4) the immediate availability of supportive services, including, but not limited to, child care, transportation, medical assistance, and other work-related aid;

(5) the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of participants in the program, including, but not limited to, the grounds for exemptions and deferrals, the consequences for refusing or failing to participate fully, and the appeal process; and

(6) a determination of whether the applicant or recipient is exempt from job search activity.

Subd. 2. Program orientation. The county agency or the provider must give a face-to-face orientation regarding the program within ten days after the date of the face-to-face interview. The orientation must be designed to inform the recipient of:

(1) the importance of locating and obtaining a job as soon as possible;

(2) benefits to be provided to support work;

(3) how other supportive services such as medical assistance, child care, transportation, and other work-related aids shall be available to support job search and work;

(4) the consequences for failure without good cause to comply with program requirements; and

(5) the appeal process.

Subd. 3. Assessment and employment development plan. At the end of orientation, the provider must assign an employment advisor and a financial specialist to the recipient. Working with the recipient, the employment advisor must assess the recipient and develop an EDP based on the recipient's existing educational level, available program resources, existing job markets, prior employment, work experience, and transferable work skills, unless exempt under subdivision 7. The EDP must require caretakers to participate in initial job search activities for up to four consecutive weeks for at least 30 hours per week and accept suitable employment if offered during participation in the program unless exempt under subdivision 7, or subject to the provisions of subdivision 8, or deferred under subdivision 9. The job search activities must commence within 30 days of the face-to-face interview.

Subd. 4. Job search activities. The following job search activities may be included in the job search plan:

(a) Job clubs, which shall consist of both of the following:

(1) job search workshops, which shall be group training sessions where participants learn various job finding skills, including training in basic job seeking skills, job development skills, job interviewing skills, understanding employer requirements and expectations, and how to enhance self-esteem, self-image, and confidence; and

(2) supervised job search, which shall include, but not be limited to, access to phone banks in a clean and well-lighted place, job orders, direct referrals to employers, or other organized methods of seeking work which are overseen, reviewed, and critiqued by a trained employment professional. The amount and type of activity required during this supervised job search period shall be determined by the employment and training service provider and the participant, based on the participant's employment history and need for support services as defined in section 256.736, subdivision 1a, paragraph (i), and shall be consistent with regulations developed by the employment and service training provider.

(b) Unsupervised job search, where the individual shall seek work in the individual's own way, and make periodic progress reports no less frequently than every two weeks to the employment and training service provider.

(c) Job placement, which shall include, but not be limited to, referrals to jobs listed by employers.

(d) Job development, which shall be active assistance in seeking employment provided to a participant by a training employment professional on a one-to-one basis.

(e) Employment counseling, which shall be counseling aimed at helping a person reach an informed decision on an appropriate employment goal.

Subd. 5. Activities following intense job search activities. (a) On completion of initial job search activities, or determination that those services are not required, the participant shall continue in additional job search activities or be assigned to one or more of the following activities as needed to attain the participant's employment goal:

(1) job training, which shall include, but is not limited to, training employer-specific jobs skills in a classroom or on-site setting, including training provided by local private industry council programs;

(2)(i) community work experience, which shall include work for a public or nonprofit agency that helps to provide basic job skills; enhance existing job skills in a position related to a participant's experience, training, or education; or provide a needed community service. Community work experience must be operated in accordance with section 256.737; and

(ii) the continuation of the participant seeking employment during the community work experience assignment. The participant may request job search services;

(3) adult basic education, which shall include reading, writing, arithmetic, high school proficiency or general education development certificate instruction, and English-as-a-second-language (ESL), including vocational ESL, to the extent necessary to attain the participant's employment goal. Vocational ESL shall be intensive instruction in English for non-English-speaking participants, coordinated with specific job training; or

(4) college and community college education, when that education provides employment skills training that can reasonably be expected to lead to employment and be limited to two years.

(b) The assignment to one or more of the program activities as required in paragraph (a) shall be based on the EDP developed after an assessment. The EDP shall be based, at a minimum, on consideration of the individual's existing education level, employment experience and goals, available program resources, and local labor market opportunities. The assessment and EDP must comply with section 256.736, subdivision 10, clauses (14) and (15).

(c) A participant who lacks basic literacy or mathematics skills, a high school diploma or general education development certificate, or English language skills may be assigned to participate in adult basic education, as appropriate and necessary for achievement of the individual's employment goal.

(d) Participation in activities assigned pursuant to this section may be sequential or concurrent. The provider may require concurrent participation in the assigned activities if it is appropriate to the participant's abilities, consistent with the participant's EDP, and the activities can be concurrently scheduled. However, to the extent possible, activities should be full time. The combined hours of participation in assigned concurrent activities shall not exceed 32 hours per week for an individual who has primary responsibility for personally providing care to a child under six years of age or 40 hours per week for any other individual. The maximum number of hours any participant may be required to participate in activities under this subdivision is a number equal to the amount of AFDC payable to the recipient divided by the greater of the federal minimum wage or the applicable state minimum wages.

Subd. 6. Immediate job search. A recipient is required to begin job search activities within 30 days after the face-to-face interview for at least 30 hours per week for up to four weeks, unless exempt under subdivision 7, subject to the provisions of subdivision 8, or deferred under subdivision 9. Notwithstanding section 119B.10, subdivision 1, for purposes of the program the limit on job search child care is 480 hours annually. For a recipient who is working at least 20 hours per week, job search must consist of 12 hours per week for up to eight weeks. The recipient is required to carry out the other activities under the EDP developed under subdivision 3.

Subd. 7. Exemption categories. The recipient is exempted from mandatory participation in all activities except orientation, if the recipient belongs to any of the following groups:

(1) caretakers under age 20 who have not completed a high school education and are attending high school or an equivalency program under section 256.736, subdivision 3b;

(2) individuals who are age 60 or older;

(3) individuals who are suffering from a professionally certified permanent or temporary illness, injury, or incapacity which is expected to continue for more than 30 days and which prevents the person from obtaining or retaining employment;

(4) caretakers whose presence in the home is needed because of illness or incapacity of another member in the household;

(5) women who are pregnant, if it has been medically verified that the child is expected to be born within the next six months;

(6) caretakers or other caretaker relatives of a child under the age of three years who personally provide full-time care for the child. In AFDC-UP cases, only one parent or other relative may qualify for this exemption;

(7) individuals employed at least 30 hours per week;

(8) individuals for whom participation would require a round trip commuting time by available transportation of more than two hours, excluding transporting of children for child care;

(9) a child under age 16, or a child age 16 or 17 who is attending elementary or secondary school or a secondary-level vocational or technical school full time; or

(10) individuals experiencing a personal or family crisis which make them incapable of participating in the program, as determined by the county.

Subd. 8. AFDC-UP recipients. All recipients under the AFDC-UP program are required to meet the requirements of the job search program under section 256.736, subdivision 14, and the community work experience program under section 256.737.

Subd. 9. Deferral from job search requirement. The recipient may be deferred from the requirement to conduct at least 30 hours of job search per week for up to four consecutive weeks, if during the development of the EDP, the recipient is determined to:

(1) be within two years of completing a post-secondary training program that is likely to lead to employment provided the recipient is attending school full time. The recipient must agree to develop and carry out an EDP which includes jobs search immediately after the training is completed;

(2) be in treatment for chemical dependency, be a victim of domestic abuse, or be homeless, provided that the recipient agrees to develop an EDP, and immediately follow through with the activities in the EDP. The EDP must include specific outcomes that the recipient must achieve for the duration of the EDP and activities that are needed to address the issues identified. Under this clause, the recipient may be deferred for up to three months;

(3) lack proficiency in English which is a barrier to employment, provided such individuals are successfully participating in an ESL program. Caretakers can be deferred for ESL for no longer than 12 months. The EDP shall establish an education plan which assigns caretakers to ESL programs available in the community that provide the quickest advancement of the caretaker's language skills; or

(4) need refresher courses for purposes of obtaining professional certification or licensure, provided the plans are approved in the EDP.

Subd. 10. Duty to report. The participant must immediately inform the provider of any changes related to the participant's employment status.

HIST: 1996 c 465 art 1 s 3